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Montevideo, January 20th 2022 - 13:49 UTC

 

 

Guaidó calls on supporters to protest blackouts and prepare for a major Freedom March

Thursday, March 28th 2019 - 09:00 UTC
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“The time has come to agitate in every state, in every community, to get water back, get electricity back, get gas back,” Mr Guaidó told a rally in Caracas “The time has come to agitate in every state, in every community, to get water back, get electricity back, get gas back,” Mr Guaidó told a rally in Caracas

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaidó has called on his supporters to take to the streets in protest at nationwide power cuts. He also told followers to prepare for a final push to try to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro.

The power cuts started on Monday and have hit hospitals, public transport, water and other services, worsening a national economic crisis. Maduro blamed the blackouts on sabotage by the opposition and the US. But the opposition argues that two decades of underinvestment and corruption by Venezuela's socialist government as the cause.

“The time has come to agitate in every state, in every community, to get water back, get electricity back, get gas back,” Mr Guaidó told a rally in the capital Caracas. “The light has gone out, we cannot remain as passive actors,” he said.

He told supporters the protests would take place on Saturday, but gave no further details. Mr Guaidó added that preparations were being made for a mass mobilization - dubbed Operation Freedom - to try to force Mr Maduro to step down. The event is intended to culminate in a huge march through Caracas.

No date has been set but Mr Guaidó said a rehearsal of the operation would be held on 6 April. He promised to travel across Venezuela to help preparations. Guaidó, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, declared himself interim leader on 23 January, saying Mr Maduro's re-election last May was illegitimate.

Caracas was first plunged into darkness on Monday. Power was restored four hours later, before a second blackout struck. The government told workers and students to stay at home as the power cuts continued. Power returned to about half the country's 24 states late on Tuesday, only to fail again on Wednesday morning.

The government has said it is battling to restore supplies and blamed the cuts on opposition “sabotage” and “terrorism”, without presenting any evidence for those claims.

Categories: Politics, Venezuela.

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